Reviving frostbitten grass after series of harsh winter freezes

Experts recommend weekly watering, potassium-based fertilizers

By Jonathan Stacey - Meteorologist

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - According to the National Weather Service, since the beginning of the year there have been 12 hard freezes in the Jacksonville area, and as a result now many of your battered lawns are a reflection of those bitterly cold temperatures. 

John Lewis works with the Jacksonville-based company Brandon Pest Control, and Louis tells News4Jax that improper treatment of your lawn is the biggest mistake many people make in the weeks that follow the hard weather.

"The frost damage will sort of appear like leopard print on the lawn," said John Lewis, “and it’s just because of people over fertilizing with the wrong types of fertilizer and not watering properly.”

Lewis says the worst damage can be seen in many neighborhoods west of the St. Johns River, because it's an area that generally isn’t protected by the warmer waters temperatures to the east.

But fear not, your grass is likely still alive. 

“Over the past couple of weeks, really what has happened is most of the lawns have gone dormant which is what they are supposed to do at this time of the year," said Lewis. 

Brandon's Pest Control offers some tips to help you revive your lawn:

  • Water your lawn regularly. According to the St. Johns River Water Management District you should water once a week, but after daylight saving time you water may water your yard up two times in a week. More on restrictions.
  • Use a potassium-based fertilizer and pesticide. It helps ward off unwanted insects and weeds
  • Avoid using nitrogen before the growing season begins.

Also, keep in mid grassy hillsides and open areas that aren’t covered with trees may need extra time to recover.

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